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Charging retainer

Discussion in 'Dog Walking' started by Bethdmd, Jul 15, 2019.

  1. Bethdmd

    Bethdmd PetForums Newbie

    Jul 15, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Hi everyone

    I’m just after a bit of advice. I have been running my dog walking business for the past 2 years. I’m currently almost fully booked however a lot of my clients are term and don’t need me through the summer holiday so that means 6 weeks of quite a big loss of income. I’ve never charged a retainer fee however a few family members have told me I should and one client even insisted on paying me one. I like to keep things affordable for my clients but realise I’m making myself struggle as a result. I don’t mind not charging for the shorter 1 or 2 week holidays but 6 weeks is a long time to be on a reduced income. Has anyone had this issue or have a policy in place for this kind of thing? Thanks in advance
  2. StormyThai

    StormyThai Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 11, 2013
    Likes Received:
    I have never charged a retainer, don't think that I know anyone who does either.
    I have a couple of clients who aren't affected by the school holidays but for the most part it's just accepted that school holidays are a quiet time.
  3. kittih

    kittih PetForums VIP

    Jan 19, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Another option would be to factor im the down times into your pricing structure.

    How did you go about deciding your walk prices ?

    Business wise it is best to start with identifying all yearly costs and work out the amount you need to earn as a salary, calculate the average number of hours of dog walks over the year (this will take into account quiet and busy times), deduct hours for illness and holiday and then divide required income by the average number of hours of walks. The hourly rate can then be amended based on factors such as local competition, your USP and any other factors you feel are relevant.

    At the end if the day you are running a business. I run a one person service business (not dog walking) and a non regular income can.be hard. The only way round it is to save the excess for when times are good (having factored in an hourly rate that provides this) and save this for the leaner times. Or simply the times when you hsve clients full time should be generating excess income not basic income.

    Have a looking at your pricing structure and also see what competitors do.

    Another option is to come up with some other money making venture in the school holidays. Small animal pet sitting etc.

    Hope you manage to get something sorted. :)
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